Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Playgrounds--Iowa--Safety measures; Elementary schools--Iowa; Elementary schools; Playgrounds; Playgrounds--Safety measures; Iowa;


The purpose of this study was to investigate what types of playground supervision practices were being performed in Iowa public elementary schools. More specifically this study included the following research questions:

1. What is the typical public elementary school in Iowa? 2. Do schools in Iowa have playground supervision plans?
3. Who supervises the children?
4. Do schools require the supervisors to have playground safety training?
5. Do schools perform a regular maintenance check on their playground?

A questionnaire was designed to answer the research questions posed in this study. The questionnaire was reviewed by a panel of experts for validity. The subjects of the study were public elementary school principals from the state of Iowa. One hundred and five participants were randomly selected from the 1999 to 2000 Iowa Educational Directory 1999 to 2000. Fifty-three questionnaires were returned for a rate of 50 percent.

The largest percentage of schools surveyed contained kindergarten through 5th grade (23%), followed by pre-kindergarten through 6th grade (17%). Forty-three percent of the elementary schools surveyed did have a pre-school class located at their school. Only 30% of the schools surveyed had more than one playground site located at their school.

Even though literature indicates that supervisors play an important role in helping reduce the number of playground injuries that occur in a school setting, it was found that only 19% of the elementary schools surveyed required the supervisors to have playground safety training. Also, only 45% of the elementary schools that were surveyed indicated that they have a playground supervision plan on file.

The largest supervisor to child ratio for the elementary schools was one supervisor to 125 children and the most frequent ratio was one supervisor to 50 children. The data revealed that there were no consistent ratio patterns in the elementary schools. The information gathered in this study revealed that elementary schools need to have additional understanding about playground supervision practices.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Susan Hudson

Second Advisor

Ripley Marston

Third Advisor

Donna Thompson


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Date Original


Object Description

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